Newcastle United made history as they reached the top four in Eddie Howe’s first full season
Newcastle United’s Premier League campaign ended with a damp squib of a 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday but there was still more than enough reason to celebrate in west London as the curtain came down on an unforgettable campaign.
Newcastle will be playing Champions League football next season after a deserved top four finish after also almost ending their agonising wait for a trophy at Wembley Stadium back in February. The Magpies faithful have been treated to some electric performances and historic wins along the way, with Eddie Howe rightly soaking in the end of season applause at full-time over the weekend.
There has been some incredible records broken too, both as a collective unit and individually. Here are six of the best from an incredible season.
New unbeaten record
Before this season, Newcastle’s longest Premier League unbeaten run stood at 11 games. The Magpies achieved that feat on multiple occasions previously but blew that figure out the water as they put together a 17-game unbeaten sequence on their way to a top four finish.
After tasting defeat at Liverpool at the end of August, Howe’s side didn’t lose a single league game until the reverse fixture at St James’ Park in February. Nick Pope’s early red card didn’t help the home side that day as they eventually lost 2-0.
Howe’s personal achievement
The 17-game stretch earned Newcastle praise but also saw Howe earn a personal accolade of his own. As Newcastle made it 15 games without losing, it became the longest unbeaten run in the division from any English manager in the Premier League era.
“I’m not too sure on these records, but it’s nice to hear,” said Howe after his side drew with Crystal Palace to achieve the feat. “Every team has days like this, especially when the competition is so high. The most important thing is if we don’t win, we don’t lose.”
Pope can’t be beaten
So much of Newcastle’s success this season was down to their resilient defence. Howe’s go-to back four excelled for much of the campaign, with Nick Pope proving a snip at just £10m last summer.
The former Burnley went on an incredible run, racking up 10 clean sheets on the spin in all competitions. Owing to the mid-season break for the World Cup, Pope went from November 9th to January 24th without conceding.
According to Opta stats going back to August 2012, that makes him the first goalkeeper with a Premier League side to achieve such a feat. However, the record for consecutive clean sheets is held by Edwin van der Sar, who went 14 games without conceding in 2008–09 for Manchester United.
Pope’s achievement, however, still set a Newcastle record! “We gave ourselves something to protect but the life of a goalkeeper means goals go in and making mistakes at times,” the goalkeeper said when Che Adams ended the streak at St James’ Park.
“That run was never going to last forever and I suppose it’s better that the run ends in a winning game. It was an unbelievable strike so credit to Che.”
Wilson’s awesome April
Callum Wilson was a striker reborn in April as he netted eight times for the Magpies, who won six of their seven games across the month. Wilson fired in three separate braces as Newcastle cemented their place in the top four.
His tally of eight broke the Newcastle record for goals scored in a single calendar month, previously set by Alan Shearer back in 1999. “It’s good. Obviously I wasn’t aware of it until after the game, and it’s nice. But it’s a crazy random stat really, how many goals you scored in a month,” Wilson said after the achievement.
“Shearer has got unbelievable records, and those kind of records are nice but they’re not the ones you want. They are and they aren’t, you want big records if you’re going to be breaking things.”
Newcastle Women prove a hit again
Newcastle Women broke multiple records as they played at St James’ Park twice during their title-winning campaign. Becky Langley’s side kept their league hopes alive in April as a whopping 24,092 turned up to see the 6-1 demolition of Bradford City women’s team – setting a new fourth-tier record in the women’s game.
Newcastle United also set a new Women’s FA Cup attendance record back in November as they came from behind to beat Barnsley Women. The crowd of 28,565 that day was the tournament’s highest attendance outside of a final.
Splashing the cash
One final record Newcastle broke this term was their very own transfer record! After initially being put off by Real Sociedad’s asking price for Alexander Isak, Howe and the owners took the plunge by forking out £58m to bring the Swede to England.
Isak’s debut will live long in the memory after he netted against Liverpool and was denied a brace after a lengthy VAR call. The striker has overcome early injury issues to play a huge role in Newcastle’s impressive campaign.
Will see the record broken again this summer?